Do social media backlinks help in SEO?


Search engine optimization or SEO as it is more commonly called, is the breathing air for websites that rely predominantly on search engine rankings for their commerce. It is a very widely covered yet not perfectly understood topic; it is a black box whose processing formulas are only known to its developers. The users only feed different types of input in trying to get the desired output from the black box. The details are a topic for another day. What I describe here is the relation between social media and SEO. Particularly does creating backlinks on social media sites help promote SEO. Well to start with let’s see what types of link are there

Links are recognized or ignored by search engines like Google, Bing, etc. depending on the link’s rel attributes. The¬†following anchor text would not be considered by Google as a baclink to the site. Meaning the search engine spider would consent to the user’s request to ignore this link in it’s search index. Hence, the server domain juice would not be passed onto the linked site.

<a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.w3schools.com/TAGS/att_a_rel.asp/”>Learn HTML</a>

dofollow-versus-nofollow

Social Media ¬†Backlinks – ‘dofollow’ or ‘nofollow’

Links on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube are all no-follow links. Thus, the hypertexts on these social media sites are of no use in your sites SEO. A good way to confirm that is to check your site’s webmaster account for backlinks that the search engine recognizes. In Google webmaster it can be found in the “Links to your site” tab

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/external-links?hl=en&siteUrl=yourPage’sURL

On Bing webmaster it is present in the “Inbound links” tab

https://ssl.bing.com/webmaster/reports/inbound/links?url=yourPage’sURL

When you go through it, you would notice that the webmaster does not not show any inbound links from these social media sites, although you might have created thousands of links through retweets, posts, sharing, etc. The fact is that publicity on social media sites would help you create new customers through direct contact, but it would not assist directly in your sites search rankings. Having said that, social media links are not completely useless. The visitors that your site would receive through publicity on social media sites would improve your search rankings. As you get more and more visitors through any means, your rankings would increase. Search engines give weightage to visitor count as well in deciding a site’s rank. So, publicity of any kind somehow is going to improve your site’s rankings.

Which social media backlinks are dofollow types?

The social media giants talked about in the previous section do not pass on their site’s authority to your site when you post a link on them. However, there are many sites links on which are recognized as dofollow by search engines; the ‘dofollow’ attribute vale is just for explanation of the content, it doesn’t exist though. Pinterest allows you to verify your site through a meta tag inclusion and would provide a reference to your site. Other sites such as Quora, Vimeo, also allow dofollow links. These are low hanging ripe fruits that should be had.

To wrap it up, backlinks on many social media sites would not be recognized by search engines but there are many other social networking sites which permit backlinks and are useful for SEO.